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Should you be worried about Watch Dogs’ release day review embargo?

Ubisoft's long awaited Watch Dogs releases next week, and, somewhat controversially, the publisher has revealed that the review embargo lifts the same day (you can look for our verdict on the 27 May at 8am BST).

Many feel this means the much-delayed open world title will suck. But what can history teach us about such matters? looks back over a select choice of games that also tied their 'umbongo' into launch day to see if a trend exists…

Aliens: Colonial Marines
Publisher: Sega
Developer: 'Gearbox Software' (Timegate Studios)
Score: 3/10

Aliens: Colonial Marines screenshot

A poor start for our theory… After what felt like decades of waiting, Sega finally unleashed the - at one time - pretty decent looking Colonial Marines to utter misery. Aside from being a near broken mess, a lot of your time was spent shooting at other human beings. So much for the aliens, then…

It still went on to perform very well, but remains a genuine disappointment - and piece of garbage - that many individuals still aren't over. That's one point in the 'Oh, shit, Watch Dogs reviews are being held back to release day' panic box.

Conspiracy Theory: 1. Nothing To Worry About: 0.

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Infinity Ward
Score: 10/10

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 screenshot

For one reason or another, all Call of Duty titles for the last few years have had their reviews legally hidden away until the game is officially out. Modern Warfare 2 is a reason why on occasions that can be a bad idea.

Already prepped for great things given it was the sequel to COD 4 - the game that at one point in time everyone loved, but now pretend such affection was never the case - MW2 didn't need any more hype than it already had. Regardless, in this instance there was no ulterior meaning behind any of Activision's plans. It got a perfect score…

Conspiracy Theory: 1. Nothing To Worry About: 1.

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Score: 7/10

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag screenshot

Assassin's Creed 4 divided a lot of people. While a large number were very keen on the pirate direction the franchise had decided to go in, the same problems that had been weighing on Ubisoft's series continued to do so here. Cue varying scores and a few people scratching their heads as to what's next.

Does that mean reviews were held back because of these concerns? Or is it just Ubisoft policy? We couldn't say either way. But as stands by its 10-point scale in the proper way, it's another point in the 'relax' column.

Conspiracy Theory: 1. Nothing To Worry About: 2.

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Kojima Productions
Score: 8/10

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes screenshot

The real argument here - that seemed to rage on forever - was whether Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes was too short. Steve Burns argued that it wasn't. A lot of other people disputed that. No one was allowed to say how they felt until the hallowed release day, mind, and, much like Assassin's Creed, it seemed to do a good job in hurling people onto each side of the fence.

For all the chatter beforehand, though, Ground Zeroes still found an audience who were very receptive and positive towards it.

Conspiracy Theory: 1. Nothing To Worry About: 3.

Dark Souls 2
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developer: FROM Software
Score: 10/10

Dark Souls 2 screenshot

While it has its haters, Dark Souls 2 is universally loved on many accounts. The 'gamer's' game of choice, the sequel was met by some with the fanfare usually reserved for a Hulk Hogan meet-and-greet. FROM Software probably could've just re-released the first iteration and thousands of people would still have gotten something out of it.

On our end, we clearly loved it. Even though the review went live the same day as the game was available in stores. So there…

Conspiracy Theory: 1. Nothing To Worry About: 4.

Bound By Flame
Publisher: Focus Interactive
Developer: Spiders
Score: 2/10

Bound By Flame screenshot

Well… this one is kinda obvious, isn't it? Bound By Flame had every chance to be a decent RPG that benefited hugely from being in the right place at the right time. With a genuine thirst for 'new-gen' content, a solid role-playing game would've ticked a lot of boxes for a lot of people. Instead, it sucked. And it sucked so bad our own Jim Trinca went as low as to give it a 2.

You could say the developer knew what awaited them. You could say that…

Conspiracy Theory: 2. Nothing To Worry About: 4.

Dead Space 3
Publisher: EA
Developer: Visceral Games
Score: 5/10

Dead Space 3 screenshot

Dead Space is the most interesting inclusion to this list. Dead Space scored an 8. Dead Space 2 scored an 8. Dead Space 3 scored a 5. Each review was kept in a tight container until the game's official release date.

As before, it's arguable that this was simply the policy EA took with its survival horror franchise for one reason or another. For those who like a bit of smoke with their fire, however, it could also be said there was a touch of worry about each version and the publisher decided to do what they could to keep interest high…

Conspiracy Theory: 3. Nothing To Worry About: 4.

Wolfenstein: The New Order
Publisher: Bethesda
Developer: MachineGames
Score: 6/10

Wolfenstein: The New Order screenshot

Another one of those games that had people discussing both the good and the bad, Wolfenstein raised similar eyebrows when it soon became apparent its reviews would not see the light of the day until the game itself emerged from the shadows.

Although we didn't rate it as highly as some, it's still a somewhat enjoyable shooter and, again, we deem a 6 to be above average. Therefore, the conspiracy theory seems to be just that: a conspiracy. Or is it…

Conspiracy Theory: 3. Nothing To Worry About: 5.